As part of their annual Discover Islam Week, the London School of Economics Islamic Society (ISOC) invited iERA to overview and enhance their existing outreach efforts through dawah training and practical dawah mentoring on campus.
There is a high degree of tolerance and respect within British universities between Muslim and Non- Muslim students. The issue, however, is the confidence of initiating a dawah conversation and articulating a warm, friendly and intelligent case for Islam.
iERA’s Nadeem Ashraf was tasked with delivering both the theoretical dawah training and practical mentoring in his well known humorous style, with great energy and verve.
One of the highlights of the training for the 30 or so members of the ISOC who attended was the audible surprise issued by the participants when they saw the before and after photo of a revert. Before Islam, he had an appearance that most people would avoid, but the after photo showed him as a friendly Muslim. The point being here is that we should not judge the appearance of anyone. We should engage with everyone and anyone and leave the guidance in the hands of Allah alone.
One measure of a success of a training session is when students approach the speaker for countless one to one and questions about Dawah and its various methodologies. This was the case here where students came with queries well after the official training was over.
On campus, with his mentoring hat on, Nadeem spent time instilling confidence in the ISOC members by providing tips and anecdotes from his experiences in the field of Dawah. He helped them arrange the materials on their dawah stall, then practically showed them some active initiation techniques on how to engage their fellow LSE students.
With the ISOC members looking on, Nadeem engaged a student, Francois, who had no intention of stopping at the stall, but his distinctly colourful trousers caught Nadeem’s eye. Nadeem in his usual style of stopping and inviting people on the streets for a chat commented loudly in praise of his trousers and drew him in for a quick conversation. Francois explained he was a Catholic by culture but not as strict as he should be. He also said he had read the Quran, but confessed that he wasn’t that impressed & that the book was repetitive.
Nadeem in his reply began with humour and exclaimed: Well human beings are by nature forgetful! We need constant reminders, which made Francois chuckle.
After this connection, Nadeem explained that we need to approach the Quran with a certain state of mind and heart. If we are just reading it for mere pastime or looking to find faults and in-discrepancies in the Quran and Islam, then you won’t gain much. However, if you approach it with a mind to gain guidance, inspiration and wisdom then you’ll see the Quran in a different light.
Francois nodded with approval. After this nod, with the ISOC members observing and listening, Nadeem took Francois through the foundations of Islam using iERA’s GORAP conversion framework. That there is a Creator and he is One. He sent us revelation in the form of the Qur’an and how we know that revelation is from the Creator. Finally, that not only did the Creator send us guidance for our life in the Qur’an, but also a practical role-model of that guidance in the form of the Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him.
With that practical example before them, the ISOC members were set to go out there and convey the call for themselves.
Helping ISOC’s to grow and develop is paramount for the future of the Prophetic Mission. These students are the next generation of society and with a firm understanding of Islam and how to convey it with love, compassion and reason, great things can happen.
iERA are continuing their relationship with the LSE ISOC with further outreach activities planned such as a fortnightly open discussion open for Muslims and Non-Muslims at the University cafe.
Want this for your ISOC?
To arrange for iERA to visit your ISOC with free training and practical dawah mentoring, simply get in touch today via iera.org/request.